Case Study: Coffee vs Green Tea

Coffee and Green Tea both have caffeine, although in differing amounts, both contain antioxidants, and have great health benefits. But which one is healthier? And better question: Which one is better for me to start my day?

On a typical day, I usually consume at least two cups of coffee in the morning and at least one cup of green tea at some point during the day. I adore them both, for very different reasons. Coffee is like a warm hug, it's nostalgic and reminds me of my grandmother, and it's such a part of my daily ritual that I might experience anxiety if I had to go without. Green tea is relaxing and makes me feel 10X healthier after a single cup, and I love the subtle energy boost it comes with. It's the perfect afternoon pick-me-up.

So here was my challenge:

Week One - Drink Only Coffee in the Morning. No tea.

Week Two - Drink Only Green Tea in the Morning. No coffee.

I wanted to see the effect it had on my alertness and overall health. So for one week, I cut out green tea and only drank coffee in the morning.

  • Monday - I had three cups of coffee before noon, and after that I switched to decaf. I felt pretty good and only noticed a bit of mental boredom near the end of my work shift, around 4 pm. Which is normal anyways.
  • Tuesday - I had two cups of coffee before noon, and finished the day with just water or juice. Started feeling a bit groggy around 2 pm, and there was a heavy feeling in my stomach.
  • Wednesday - I am feeling the fatigue mid-afternoon. It's almost like I can't wait to put my head down after work and just crash. Not normal for me....
  • Thursday - It's odd that my morning coffee is leaving  heavy feeling in my stomach all day now, instead of just right after drinking it. 
  • Friday - I caved and had a soda this afternoon, but it just didn't have the same kind of mental kick that the tea gives me. It was a long and stressful day, I already wasn't feeling good, and I needed the sugar rush I hardly ever crave. Don't judge me. 

So now it's time for week two, where I will only drink green tea (morning and afternoon) for five straight days. Let's get started...

  • Monday - I was really hesitant to implement my green-tea-only plan today, since I had to get up earlier to catch a different bus than usual. I gave my coffee maker a sidelong glance and left it alone anyways - I got my giant mug of green tea at work and I've been sipping that slowly. The caffeine boost definitely doesn't feel the same, but I also feel less sluggish.
  • Tuesday - I really miss my coffee. It's a comfort thing when I'm having anxiety. At about noon, I started feeling kind of annoyed that I had to go fix myself another cup of tea instead of visiting the coffee bar down the hall....
  • Wednesday - I'm adjusting. It's magical, but it's happening. One cup of green tea done (spruced up with a bit of raspberry syrup and creamer) and my body isn't screaming for the java two hours later.
  • Thursday - My conclusion thus far is that my body will accept any type of caffeinated substance I give it and process accordingly. But while I love the clean energy boost I get from the tea, I miss the comfort and ritual of my morning coffee. I eyed the coffee maker longingly this morning...
  • Friday - I caved. I made coffee. 


Whenever I'm asked if I prefer coffee or tea, I always answer both! Because I really can't choose. But what I discovered from my two week experiment is that I can honestly get up and go with either coffee or tea, depending on what's available or what I feel up for. Some days I want the cozy comfort a spiced up mug of coffee brings. Some mornings I want to feel the vegetal aroma of green tea awakening my senses.

The answer will always be both.